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CCMIA Joins Balanced Copyright for Canada Coalition

The Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA) announced that it is joining the Balanced Copyright for Canada coalition.

According to the statement, the CCMIA represents 10 provincial and territorial music industry associations, including the Yukon and northern Ontario (excluding Quebec). Its membership is composed of about 8,000 businesses and professionals in a variety of music-related fields.

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Unedited press release follows:

Music Industry Unites to Fight Online Piracy

Ten Music Industry Associations Join Balanced Copyright for Canada’s Campaign

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN–(Aug. 4, 2010) – John-Paul Ellson, Chair of the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA), announced, today, the CCMIA’s joining Balanced Copyright for Canada coalition, a national organization that advocates taking Bill C-32 as a starting point for bringing Canada’s copyright into the digital age. Bernie Finkelstein of Balanced Copyright for Canada’s Advisory Board welcomed CCMIA’s support. The Advisory Board of 14 members includes Roger Mooking, Steven Ellis and Andy Stochansky, among others.

Said John-Paul Ellson, “I’m pleased to announce the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations’ joining Balanced Copyright for Canada and their taking Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act, as a starting point for copyright reform. I’m honoured the CCMIA have designated me to be their representative on the Advisory Board.”

CCMIA represents 10 provincial and territorial music industry associations, including the Yukon and northern Ontario (excluding Quebec). Its membership is composed of about 8,000 businesses and professionals in a variety of music-related fields.

“From coast to coast to coast, our members have been hit hard by unchecked Internet piracy. With access to fewer live venues than in a city like Toronto, CCMIA artists have fewer opportunities to earn even a portion of revenues lost to piracy, with live performances,” Ellson said. “That is why we enthusiastically back Balanced Copyright for Canada’s efforts to get the legal reforms we need.”

Balanced Copyright for Canada’s Advisory Board offers guidance on how it can best support the passage of copyright legislation that effectively protects artists and creators, and the creative industries and their investors. The Board includes artists and producers from the music and film industries and those who represent them, and Canadians who are actively engaged in defending intellectual property rights (IP) in Canada.

“Artists like me, and especially those just starting out, need copyright reforms, now, so that we can earn a living making music,” said Andrea Menard, a Saskatchewan-based Metis singer/songwriter and actress. “I’m glad that my provincial music industry association, through the CCMIA, supports Balanced Copyright for Canada campaign for legislation that will put the pirate download sites out of business.”

Bernie Finkelstein, an independent music producer and a Balanced Copyright for Canada Advisory Board member, welcomed CCMIA’s support.

“We are encouraged that an organization of CCMIA’s scope is adding their voices to Balanced Copyright for Canada’s campaign,” added Finkelstein.

Balanced Copyright for Canada is a coalition of content creators, artists, and rights holders, and people who work in music, movies, video games, books, and software. They believe that Canada needs to move into the digital age on the legislation that governs copyright in this country. For further information, please visit

The Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA), originally incorporated in 2002, represents 10 provincial and territorial music industry associations, including the Yukon and northern Ontario (excluding Quebec). Its membership is composed of about 8,000 businesses and professionals in a variety of music-related fields. CCMIA is embarking on a series of initiatives and projects that will assist its thousands of members and through them improve the diversification and stability of the Canadian economy.

Advisory Board Members: Balanced Copyright for Canada

John-Paul (J. P.) Ellson
John-Paul Ellson is the Chair of the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA), representing ten (10) provincial and territorial music industry associations with a combined registered and affiliated membership in excess of 8,000 artists and music industry entrepreneurs. Since 2008, Ellson has also served as Chair of the National Advisory Board of the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent On Recordings (FACTOR), which is responsible for distributing Government of Canada funding for sound recording artists across Canada in accordance with adjudicated jury processes. From 1998 to the present, Ellson has been Saskatchewan legal counsel for the Directors Guild of Canada. Ellson was the producer of “Canada’s Diversity Awards,” in 2009, and was directly involved in the production of the 2007 JUNO Awards, the 2007 Canadian Country Music Awards, the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards, the 2007 Gemini Awards and the 2008 Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival. Currently, as COO and in-house legal counsel to SaskMusic, he operates a pro-bono legal services program for sound recording artists and professionals throughout the Province of Saskatchewan.

Roger Mooking
As executive chef, Roger Mooking has been the subject of numerous television and print features internationally and nationally, including Food Network, HGTV, The New York Times, Wallpaper magazine and Toronto Life. Roger is currently executive chef and co-owner of Kultura Social Dining and Nyood Restaurant in downtown Toronto, where he has earned a reputation as one of the city’s premier chefs. Mooking is the host and co-creator of his Cooking Channel series entitled Everyday Exotic. He is also the recording artist and creator of Soul Food, a unique food and music project released by Warner Music.

Andy Stochansky
Andy Stochansky is a Canadian singer-songwriter who was signed to RCA U.S. He started out as one the most-in-demand drummers in the Canadian music scene during the early 1990s, at one point playing with eight Toronto bands. Andy’s popularity caught the attention of songstress Ani DiFranco, in Buffalo, New York, who asked him not only to record on her albums but also to be her touring co-pilot. After playing from 150 to 200 shows a year for seven years, Andy wanted other things. He switched instruments, taking up guitar and piano, and released his solo debut album, RadioFusebox, in 1999. The response to “Fusebox” was immediately positive. His song, “Shine,” was covered by Australian Idol competitor Shannon Noll, making it a number-one hit, selling over a million copies. Another second single, “House of Gold”, received huge radio success for Stochansky himself when released in Canada on Canadian independent label Linus. Shannon would have another Top 10 single again the following year when he covered another Stochansky song from the same CD, “Loud,” a song Stochansky calls his response to his self-imposed pressure when it comes to lyrics. Stochansky now lives in Los Angeles writing for other artists.

Stephen Ellis
For thirty years Stephen Ellis has been an advocate for independent Canadian production and distribution. He has engaged in extensive volunteer work with various industry bodies, including the Canadian Media Production Association (formerly the Canadian Film & Television Production Association). Ellis has executive produced over 200 hours of award-winning documentary and family entertainment for network television. A recent project was Tank Overhaul, an eight-part behind-the-scenes look at the restoration of battle tanks for History Television and Discovery Military Channel. Stephen Ellis is President and CEO of Toronto-based Ellis Entertainment Corporation, a leading Canadian, independent, television producer and distributor that celebrated its 46th year of operation in January, 2010. The company was founded by his father, and current chairman, Ralph C. Ellis, in 1964.

Stephen Stohn
Stephen Stohn is the executive producer of the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation and President of Epitome Pictures Inc. in Toronto. For twenty years, he was a director, executive producer, and, then, Chair of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organization responsible for the Juno Awards. Mr. Stohn is a founding partner of the entertainment law firm Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP.

Jeff Rogers
Jeff Rogers has enjoyed a long career as a band manager, “booker,” music director, and film producer. Among others, Rogers managed Crash Test Dummies and produced the vampire rock film SUCK. Jeff was nominated for a Grammy for producing Moby’s DVD. He is, now, music director with Aux.TV, based in Mississauga, Ontario.

Laura Nenych
Since 2003, Laura Nenych has been a full-time professor at Ryerson University and she is, now, the Director, Graduate Program in Media Production, in the Faculty of Communication and Design. Laura teaches in the areas of Entertainment Law, Media Management, the Music Business, and Audio Production at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Immediately prior to joining Ryerson, she spent five years as the Director, Legal and Business Affairs at EMI Music Canada/Capitol Records/Virgin Records. Nenych’s research interests relate to copyright reform, broadcasting policy, e-commerce, and how new technologies and the Internet affect the international entertainment industry. She continues her part-time practice in law, strictly representing entertainment clients.

Grant Dexter
Led by the belief that access to Canadian music is both worthwhile and important, Grant Dexter co-founded MapleCore in 1999 with a mandate to promote the best that the Canadian music scene has to offer. While other music companies viewed the internet as a threat, MapleCore’s founders saw its potential as a solution. With that aim, the first line of business to launch was, an eCommerce site that now provides online stores for more than 800 artists. Today, MapleCore consists of the record labels MapleMusic Recordings, Open Road Recordings, Canada’s leading independent distribution company Fontana North Distribution, as well as the recent, strategic additions of a music publishing division and a ticketing company. Dexter currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) and the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Record (FACTOR).

Bernie Finkelstein
Bernie Finkelstein was the founder of Canada’s oldest and longest running independent record company True North Records. In addition to True North, Bernie is also the president of Finkelstein Management Company. Between True North and Finkelstein Management, Bernie has worked with Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Carole Pope and Rough Trade, Dan Hill, Barney Bentall, Stephen Fearing, and Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, among others. His label and management company have received over 40 gold and platinum records and won over 40 Juno awards. In 2007, Finkelstein sold True North and currently manages Bruce Cockburn as well as administrating his publishing catalogue worldwide.

John Cotter
A Partner at Osler, Hoskin, Harcourt, John Cotter practises in the areas of intellectual property and information technology litigation and has a commercial litigation background. He has extensive experience in matters relating to trade-marks, copyright, domain names, trade secrets and confidential information, patents, misleading advertising and matters relating to counterfeit items. Mr. Potter is anti-piracy counsel for a leading software company. He is also a member of the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network. John speaks and writes frequently on intellectual property matters and has served on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Patent Reporter.

Steven Ehrlick
Steven Ehrlick is a partner in the Toronto entertainment law firm Stohn Hay Caffazo Dembroski Richmond LLP. Between 2006 and 2010, Ehrlick served as a professor at Ryerson University, teaching legal, business and media writing courses in the School of Radio and Television Arts. While teaching, Steven obtained his Master of Arts degree in Media Production. Ehrlick is also the co-founder of the Orange Record Label, an independent, Canadian label.

Richard Owens
Richard Owens is counsel in the Toronto office of Stikeman Elliott specializing in business and commercial law, intellectual property and technology. Mr. Owens has acted on behalf of many technology companies, financial institutions, and others in technology-intensive transactions, including outsourcing, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and joint ventures, privacy, financing, electronic commerce, public-private partnerships and Internet issues. Richard also teaches courses on the law of information technology and electronic commerce, innovation law and policy, intellectual property, digital content and the interests of the artist, and the law and policy of biotechnology, at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

Rob Brooks
Beginning as a floor sales clerk with Sam the Record Man in Toronto, Rob Brooks has spent almost 40 years in the music business, including 32 years with EMI. Currently, he is a Digital Media Consultant doing all EMI’s digital music deals. Mr. Brooks has been a pioneer in digital and new media, in Canada and the world. He is a founder of Bloo&Wite Management and the Bloo&Wite Music Label, which recorded the Jessica Lalonde jazz standards CD released in January 2009. Rob also has deep knowledge of the early film industry, once owning the largest collection of Mary Pickford material, donated to the International Film Festival and which now resides in their Film Archives at the new Film Festival Centre in downtown Toronto. Since 2004, Rob has been a member of the “Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Interactive Peer Group,” one of 3 Canadians who can vote for the Emmy Awards (USA).

Janis Nixon
Janis Nixon has been a part of the Canadian music industry for close to 20 years. Ms. Nixon has worked in campus radio, BMG, the Harris Institute as a New Media Marketing instructor and, now, with Universal Music Canada for close to 10 years as the Marketing Director for the Universal Island Def Jam group of labels. Of her love of music, Janis says, “It’s played a huge role in my life. I give thanks to every artist that has ever written a song that has woven its way into becoming the inspiration and soundtrack to my life!”